23 February 2009

I'm in a weird place right now.

For the first time in ages, writing isn't so urgent to me. I first wrote that it isn't so important to me, but that's not true. It's important to me that I write, to make sense of my world through words, and that I put those words on paper. Writing helps me stop and focus long enough on something that I can meditate on it and figure out what's going on in my heart and what I want to do in response to that.

I guess I could say that publication isn't so urgent for me, either. It's still a goal, still out there as something that I am pursuing and will continue to pursue, but I've realized that I'll still have a life I like even if I never have a novel published. Even if I'm not good enough, don't have enough time, find that I hate the whole process, God has given me a life that I want to live. There's nothing to prove, nothing to win, no value that I have or don't have based on whether or not someone likes what I write enough to put it in book form.

And most days, I believe that.

Writing is a particular instance of something I'm trying to do on a much greater basis right now. It's all part of my meditations on "enough."

I've spent so much time living in the future--hoping for things, thinking about how much better my life would be if I had more, if things were different, if I were more important, had a wider audience, could say the things that I think matter to people who could actually change. I've wanted to be chosen, gifted, talented, recognized, wanted, valued, and respected in ways that aren't present in my current life, and so I've looked to the future as not only the place where I get all those things, but as the place where I am finally living, finally someone of value, finally someone who matters.

That's all a load of crap.

The truth is that I tend to think that I'm not living the life I would have chosen if I'd been given a cafeteria and been able to pick and choose every element, but I don't know that. Maybe I did stand in that cafeteria with God, one day, looking at the possibilities and choosing which ones represented what I really wanted my life to be about. And even if that didn't happen, this is the life God has given me: this apartment, this job, this husband, these friends. There has to be value in living this life, in making choices in this context, and not just trying to get out of it and into one that I like better.

It's hard to be normal. It's harder than I'd ever thought. I thought normal was what happened when you didn't try to do anything else. But normal is it's own version of special, with it's own struggles, hardships, joys and graces. Sometimes, I'm ashamed to be normal, ashamed that I haven't made myself into something more or that I haven't been specially asked to do something important and out-of-the-ordinary. But I fight that shame because it's also a bunch of crap.

I also don't feel so much of a need to talk about my life. I live it, and I try to love it. It's not that I don't want all of you to know what's going on with me, but more that I'm spending more time living and less time sorting it all out into blog-length bits. Overall, I think that's a good thing, though I miss being around here more. And it means that my posts (like this one) are a little more garbled than I'm used to, because I haven't put them together like I used to. But it feels good to focus on living on not on thinking. Don't get me wrong...I still think, and I think thinking is good. But I think I've thought myself into a corner in some areas and I want to get out of those. And I'm willing to be an infrequent blogger who writes disconnected posts if that's what it takes!


Monica @ Paper Bridges said...

hi there. :)

I believe blogkeeping ebbs and flows. Lots to say some days, then all goes quiet for a bit. I wouldn't worry about it much.

A lot of my blogging starts in my journal and gets transfered to the blog if I think it's of interest to others. hth!

Monica, a fellow High Calling Blogger

Joelle said...

Oooh, Sarah. You hit me in the gut. I am so, so, so a #4 on the Enneagram who looongs to be "special," unique, desirable, renowned. I love the healthy awareness and desire for true living that shines through your words. Thank you for being free to be who you are! You grace me!

christianne said...

Here, here!

Wow. That declaration at the end came unexpectedly and with zest!

I so respect you and what you shared here. And I like how you called out some of those mind-traps as the loads of crap they are. It's helpful to see that in plain writing, isn't it? Because then we can look back at those previous paragraphs we just wrote -- the ones that lump all we've been living in into one concise package -- and realize that we already are those things: loved, valued, respected, worthy. Enough. Just like your word for the year.

I see, too, that we're in some similar places, thinking and living some similar things, becoming quieter on our usually noisy places because of these things. It amazes me when God takes groups of people who are friends through similar stages at the same time.

Love you, friend. I love watching you embrace right where you are, trusting that you are right where you need to be, and living openheartedly in that place.

Sarah said...

Hi Monica--welcome to my little place in the world. And I agree--blogging definitely ebbs and flows. It's less that I worry and more that people worry about me ;)

Joelle-I'm not a 4 (I'm a 6), but I hear you. I definitely desire to live truly!

Christianne-Seeing things in print is incredibly helpful...sometimes I wonder if that's why I write, more than anything else...because the world seems truer when you write it down. I read a Chinese or Japanese proverb once that talked about how writing something down made it real, and I definitely agree.

I also think it's cool what God does with communities and groups of friends together, how journeys intersect and we get to travel together, at least for a while. I'm so glad I get to travel with you! Thanks for seeing me here.

heather said...

How often you and I are in the same place in life!
A couple of weeks ago, God and I had it out. I should I had it out. I don't think God did any yelling back.
I give up! I told him. I'm done! You don't want to use me, fine.
At first, it was scary. Was I giving up on God? (Not on my faith but on the idea that he'd use me.) I felt rejected by him. And how do you live life without a goal, without some pursuit? I've always enjoyed the journey, but I've always been headed somewhere, too.
Now I realize, this is good because I'm actually giving up my own expectations. Here's the deal, God, I told him. I'm going to keep working, keep writing, keep doing the things I'm doing. But I'm not going to pursue anything right now. If you want something, drop it in my lap, and we'll talk.
I think I need to be in this place for a while.

Anonymous said...


A toast to Sarah! I will ditto Christiannes's here here! Let's all drink to that! Ah hell let's just all drink! I mean, you are turning into a new you, Christianne is starting a new series of blogs, I have deleted my blog and am still as miserable as I was BEFORE i deleted the blog, and Terri has a new grandbaby. It is time to drink!

I love you! You confused blogger you! :) Man you said so much here. I swear, this is one of those head turning things, where I have to stop and say, "did I write that?" At least parts of it.

Man you poured out a lot of honesty here. You poured out my mental chatter, and i ain't even joking about that. Well, you saw bits of it in my e-mail. I seem desperate to prove my life is worth something, and I don't even have a clue what that looks like or what that means.

I can spit out some spiritual parroting, and claim that I know, but the truth is I am as lost as a goose in a snow storm and too proud to ask for directions.

terri said...

amen. it's hard to let go, isn't it? it's hard to just be exactly where you are instead of somewhere in the past or the future.

i like you here.

sojourner said...

You are going through the same stuff I'm going through, yet I remain back and forth trying to keep balance - garbbled posts are good posts! (I couldn't find you on my reformed "rooted community" blog list. Your there now so don't go away!)

L.L. Barkat said...

We write from the center of life, at least when we write well. So this living you are doing... it too... is writing...

Sarah said...

Sorry guys...I totally forgot to respond to the rest of the comments here. I responded in my head, though...does that count?

Heather--Given the bits you've shared recently, it sounds like you and Chris have been through the wringer a bit. I keep thinking "what a thing to give to God..." whenever I think of what you wrote here. Goals and expectations and God...it can all get so jumbled, can't it? Write on, sister...write on. And he will use you--I believe that!

Tammy--you know, I'm sensing that you get what I'm talking about here ;) Yeah, it's a confusing place to be, but a restful one, if only we can let ourselves just BE here.

Terri--thank you, thank you...sometimes I feel like I disappear when I let myself be in the present...it's nice to know that I'm not what I put on but who I am, and that I'm liked.

LL--you articulate here a sense I've had but been unable to say...writing is somehow akin to prayer in so many ways, one of which is the idea that you can be writing when it doesn't look like you're writing, just like with prayer (can I be the Brother Lawrence of writing...someday? ;) )

Mirrors and Shutters said...
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